Haydn Staples Auckland Philharmonia Piano Scholarship Programme

The Scholarship Programme is in conjunction with the University of Auckland’s School of Music and made possible by the generous support of the Staples Education Foundation. The Programme supports the scholars for the duration of their studies by providing them with opportunities to develop a wide-ranging portfolio of skills that complement their advanced solo studies. These include:

  • A scholarship of $2,000 per year towards the cost of music studies
  • Six extra piano lessons with highly respected New Zealand piano teachers
  • Participation in masterclasses with international artists performing with the Auckland Philharmonia
  • One performance as part of a piano trio ensemble with Auckland Philharmonia musicians in recital
  • One solo performance in recital
  • One performance in concert with the Auckland Philharmonia
  • Tickets to all Auckland Philharmonia piano concerto concerts each season
  • Employability skills, mentoring and professional development
  • Participation in alumni activities once the scholar has completed the programme
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The Auckland Philharmonia Haydn Staples programme has provided me with an overwhelming support towards the first steps in my musical career. I am grateful for the variety of performance opportunities given, allowing me to widen my horizons as a musician. To date, I have participated in Auckland Philharmonia concerts on the celeste, played in a chamber group with Auckland Philharmonia players, and had a concerto opportunity at one of their recent ‘Kiwi Kapers’ concerts. The concerto was a highlight – I got a chance to chat to some of the primary school students afterwards and they all loved the concert so much! It felt so rewarding – being part of a bigger initiative to inspire and introduce the younger generation to the multi-faceted world of music and being able to share my love of music with them!
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- Catherine Chang, Haydn Staples Piano Scholar 2021-2023

Meet the 2024 Haydn Staples Auckland Philharmonia Piano Scholars!

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Henry Meng

Henry Meng is a pianist and composer studying at the University of Auckland. He has been playing the piano since an early age and attended Westlake Boys’ High School. Henry has been a finalist in the 2019 and 2023 iterations of the Wallace National Piano Competition, as well as winning second place in the 2023 National Concerto Competition playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3. Under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge and Rae de Lisle, Henry has attained numerous accolades across a variety of regional competitions in the country, as well as performing in New York City. He has workshopped his original compositions with the Auckland Philharmonia as well as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

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Madeleine Xiao

Madeleine Xiao began learning the piano at age five, going on to study a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance at the age of 16. She is currently under the tutelage of Rae de Lisle, Bryan Sayer and Katherine Austin. Madeleine has achieved numerous top awards as well as scholarships where she has been generously supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Chiron Lewis Eady Foundation, AIMES North Harbour, Staples Education Foundation and Auckland Philharmonia. In 2022, Madeleine was a winner of the Auckland Youth Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, where she received the opportunity to perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G in a concert tour with the orchestra, including a final concert at the Auckland Town Hall. She also won the University of Auckland School of Music Concerto Competition. In 2023, Madeleine was selected to attend the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson, working with the New Zealand String Quartet. She also played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey in the Christchurch Town Hall and competing in the finale of the National Concerto Competition where she placed third. Additionally, Madeleine was selected as an emerging artist for the 2023 At the World’s Edge Festival, where she toured and performed alongside internationally renowned musicians in many ensembles and events.

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David Li

David Li is a third-year student at the University of Auckland, where he is pursuing a dual major in Classical Piano Performance and Information Systems. David has studied piano under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge and Rae de Lisle. He was awarded the Swedlund Music Bursary Scholarship Award from the University of Auckland in 2021 and achieved 1st prize in the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand Scholarship Competitions in the DD O’Connor Instrumental and Piano Scholarship in 2021. In 2023, he was awarded 2nd prize in the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand Scholarship Competitions - Margaret Doone Sonata Competition. David has also received top three awards from other competitions, such as the North Shore Performing Arts Society in Auckland.

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